The Pennsylvania Hazardous Materials Emergency Planning and Response Act, Act 1990-165, or Act 165, directs the Commonwealth and its counties to set standards for all Hazardous Materials Response Teams (HMRTs). PEMA Directive 2010-02 covers training and certification, standardizes the equipping of HRMT units and addresses other matters involving hazmat response activities. HMRTs are required to be recertified every 4 years.
Beaver County’s Hazardous Materials Response Team 700 underwent its most recent recertification in the summer of 2015.
The recertification site assessment completed by representatives from the PA Emergency Management Agency reviewed at the county’s hazmat program including training and medical requirements, equipment inspections and operational readiness. The specialized response for hazardous material incidents requires a high level of proficiency in a variety of skill set areas. Recent changes in the Commonwealth’s Hazardous Material Safety Program and the additional mandates of the National Incident Management System (NIMS) made the retention of certification a more challenging task.
Not only did the Beaver County Hazmat Team meet the requirements of PEMA Directive 2010-02, the team exceeded them and received high praise from the state.